After hours spent in the stylist's chair, plus the endurance of many pain-filled moments, the result is worth it-- a head full of beautiful braided locks. But, keeping your braids looking as good as they did when you left the salon takes commitment. Proper daily care will maintain their appearance and help them last longer. As pretty as they are, braids also are known to cause a lot of scalp itching. Daily care for your braids is also essential to keeping your head itch-free.
The often times intolerable itching associated with braids comes from sweat and oil that stays trapped on your scalp. The key to eliminating or reducing scalp itching is cleaning the hair well and on a regular basis. You must take care, however, to wash and clean your braids properly -- otherwise, you risk damaging your do.
In order to maintain moisture, shampoo your hair about once a week. Frequent washing will actually shorten the shelf life of your braids. To optimize their staying power wash braids with diluted shampoo and conditioner. Allow the water from the shower head to run over your scalp for a few minutes before applying shampoo and conditioner. Gently work the shampoo into your scalp, without rubbing too hard or rough. Rinse hair and apply scalp pomade, made from natural oils, after washing.
If you're suffering from itchy braids, braid spray is a go to remedy. Spray it on your hair every day to keep your scalp moisturized and to cut down the itch factor. You can also make your own braid spray with distilled water, a natural oil--such as grape seed, almond or jojoba--and an essential oil like lavender. Some braid sprays have an anti-itch ingredient built in. If you can find one of these brands, it's a worthwhile investment to stave off the itch.
If your head is prone to heavy sweating, use a cotton ball and a natural astringent such as tea tree oil to remove the sweat from your scalp. Apply astringent on the space between braids on a regular basis.
Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.